15 out of 18 governorship candidates of the INEC registered political parties including the incumbent Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde of the People’s Democratic Party, Chief Adebayo Adelabu of ACCORD, and Chief Poju Joshua of New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP) on Friday, signed a peace accord at the State Police Command Headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan.
The signing of the peace agreement was convened by the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Lekan Balogun, Alli-Okunmade II.
Other candidates that attended the event included, Akeem Yusuf (ADP), Olaniyi Ajekugbe (AA), Oladimeji Idowu (AAC), Adesina Isiaq (APGA), Rahmon Adegboyega (NRN) among others.
The APC candidate, Sen Teslim Folarin, was represented by his running mate, Dr David Okunlola.
Speaking at the ceremony, Oba Balogun, represented by the Otun Olubadan and former governor of Oyo State, Sen Rashidi Ladoja, appealed to the candidates to go about their electioneering campaigns in a peaceful manner.
He urged the candidates to take the peace accord seriously, stressing that the event is not just a mere formality.
“We are pacesetter in Oyo State. Apart from Abuja, I don’t think there is another place where they have signed peace accord. I appeal to the candidates to go about their electioneering campaigns peacefully. It is when there is peace you can govern; you can’t go on electioneering campaign if there is no peace.
“And I can assure you that whatever happens in Oyo State will go round the country. If the peace starts in Oyo State, it will go round the country. 1966 coup was a direct reflection of what what was happening in Oyo State.
“I implore all of you to go about your campaigns peacefully, you are all Omoluabis. Some of you have been friends before you entered politics and you will still be friends after the election. I want to appeal to the Commissioner of Police to ensure there is regular interactive sessions among the candidates,” Ladoja said.
In his goodwill message, the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Oyo State, Dr Adeniran Tella, described the signing of the peace accord as historical because it is the first of its kind since his recent deployment to the state.
He said the signing of the peace accord is a key pointer and attestation that the 2023 election in the state would be conducted in a peaceful manner.
“As all political parties sign the peace accord today, ahead of the conduct of 2023 general elections, the Commission is poised at using technology in order to strengthen the electoral process. INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED) has indeed enabled the Commission to expand and improve the integrity of the nation’s voter register via crv.inecnigeria.org. The use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) remains a game changer in the electioneering process. It will however be used to to verify, authenticate and upload polling units through INEC Result Viewing (IRev) Portal via: www.inecresultelections.ng.
“Therefore, all hands must be on deck to ensure a free, fair, credible, transparent, inclusive and conclusive 2023 general elections in the state,” Tella said.